Birgitta is originally from Vienna, Austria, where – after studying Drama at the University of Vienna -, she trained and performed in Dance and Musical Theatre, her earliest work includes performing and touring with the production of ‘Godspell’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and a character part in Richard Linklater’s highly acclaimed feature film ’Before Sunrise’. She subsequently worked with her dear, late friend Jean Yves Ginoux and his company for several dance theatre productions, including ‘Spirales des Pleurs’ and also performed in ‘La Ronce n’est pas le pire’, in Paris, South of France and in Vienna.
She trained at the ‘Actor’s Studio’ in Vienna and when in 1991, she was awarded a grant by the Austrian Ministry of Culture, she moved to London, where she trained Method Acting at ‘Lee Strasberg’s Theatre Institute’ for three years, followed by monthly intensive workshops with Tony Greco in London, as well as in New York and Los Angeles. She then joined a professional Meisner Technique group with the late, exceptional teacher and her friend, Jean Fennell!
Based in London, some of her recent acting work includes the ‘T- Boy show’ web-series, the nominated short-film ‘Taste’ by Booker Woodford, ‘Shoot for the Moon’ by Chris Wicket, the role of ‘The Butterfly Lady’, a wedding performer in the feature film ‘The Wedding Video’ by Tim Firth and directed by Nigel Cole. A couple of very interesting acting roles were ‘Salka Viertel’ doubled with the role of ‘Helga, a German Brechtian actress’’ in 1931 in ‘The Empty Plan’, an independent film about Bertolt Brecht’s time in Hollywood during the early 40s, directed by Anja Kirchner and David Panos.
Another very enjoyable role for her was the ‘Choir Boy Mistress’ in the Universal Studios/Squirrel Film feature film production ‘Made in Dagenham’, directed by Nigel Cole, whereas on the more dramatic, classical side, the filmed the role of the ‘German Landlady’ in the four part BBC TV drama series of ‘Crime and Punishment’, as well as the role of the highly manipulative therapist ‘Maxine’ in the award winning feature film ‘Do I love you?’ by Lisa Gornick.
In 2004, she founded with actor Carmine Canuso, the production company ‘Charismatic Productions Ltd’ which has produced her self-penned short story ‘Wisteria Cottage’ a film directed by Marcus Thompson, the cast includes Kate Isitt, Jake Canuso, Amanda Ray-King, Darren Black, and herself as ‘Barbara’.
Charismatic Productions has produced several Rehearsed Readings at the Soho Theatre. The productions include: ‘Speaking in Tongues’ by Andrew Bovell, directed by Lois Norman, in which she performed the role of ‘Jane’, co-produced by Brian Brolly and Peta Boreham, ‘Empties’ an American play by Andy Wolfendon, in which she played the character of the mentally challenged ‘Ethel’, and ‘Scars’ by Bryan Oliver, in which she performed the role of ‘Maria’.
She is a passionate writer and with her writing partner Peter Westcott, has recently completed, the seven – one hour episode TV comedy drama series ‘Sequin Deep’, which follows top socialite J’Chi Ambrose and the characters she encounters on the London fashion scene, during recession, in which she also has the part of ‘Romy’ secured.
Being offered the part of Esther, Eva’s life-partner, Birgitta is also engaged in the development of the Irish feature film ‘Sisters of Revolution’, written and directed by Siobhan Cleary, a very important story of the sister Constance Markievicz and Eva Gore-Booth, and is currently revising the second draft of the script.
She is fluent in English, French and German (native Mother Tongue), trained with Julia Wilson-Dickson and Penny Dyer on my RP, and has worked with the wonderful and sadly late Julia on Standard American accents, as well as European accents like French, Italian, Spanish, High German, Polish, Serbian, Czech and Russian, to add a flavouring touch to different characters and parts.
Acting, more than anything gives her meaning, as she loves to infuse her energy and passion into the characters she works with. She really wants to make a difference through the stories she gives a voice to, and always works towards finding the truth in each of the characters she portrays, or stories she writes, with all the enthusiasm and integrity she can muster!
Working as a spiritual sensitive and healer – very much makes her focus on the aspect of her humility and feeling compassion for others. Consequently it made her realize, that inspiration and creativity always stem from the same source, fuelling her intention to be a vessel of inspiration and encouragement.
Being represented by ESRL, in her words, makes her feel seen and heard and she hopes to return the respect and kindness Evie aka Evelynne Ralph-Larner offers, through her work, success and recognition!
THE WEDDING VIDEO, Butterfly Lady. Prod. Squirrel Films Ltd. Director: Nigel Cole
THE EMPTY PLAN, Salka Viertel and as German Actress 1931/32. Prod. Kirchner/Panos. Directors: Anja Kirchner and David Panos
MADE IN DAGENHAM, Choir-Boys Mistress. Prod. Squirrel Films Ltd. Director: Nigel Cole
WISTERIA COTTAGE, Barbara. Prod. Super7 Films. Director: Marcus Thompson
THE ANCESTOR, Maria. Prod. Leonti Films, Director: Barry aka Paris Leonti
DO I LOVE YOU, Maxine. Prod. Valiant Doll Productions, Director: Lisa Gornick.
SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE, Ann, Prod. Wire Group Productions Director: Tom Wheatley
BREATHE SAFELY, Secretary/Child Minder, Paul Pusch Prod, Director: Paul Pusch
BEFORE SUNRISE, as Charlotte, Castle Rock Entertainment, Director: Richard Linklater
Isadora, MY LIFE AS ISADORA DUNCAN, Director: Luisa Pretolani
Doctor, THE APPOINTMENT, Director: Luisa Pretolani
Maria, SCARS, Director: Bryan Oliver
Ethel, EMPTIES, Charismatic Productions Ltd, Director: Bryan Oliver
Jane, SPEAKING IN TONGUES, Charismatic Productions Ltd, Director: Lois Norman
Writer, GETTING ONE’S ACT TOGETHER, Skylark Prod. Director: Satgit Thompson
Sophie, SOPHIE’S CHOICE, King's Head Theatre Company Director: Andrew Joseph
Tomasina, CRYSTAL CLEAR, Electric House Prod, Director: Michael Billington
Bri-Bri, LA RONCE N’EST PAS LE PIRE. Choreographer and Director: Jean-Yves Ginoux
Julia, DECEPTIONS, Mainstream Theatre Productions, Director: Brian Greene
Emma, GODSPELL, (9 months tour) Bretterhaus Productions, Director: Peter Schmidt
Gypsy Woman, T-BOY SHOW, Comedy-web series, Director: Debra Odutuyo
Landlady, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, (4-part TV drama series), BBC Television, Director: Julian JARROLD
Sarah Green, SOLDIER SOLDIER VII, Central Television
THE LIFT, Hanna, River Crossing Productions, Director: Luisa Pretolani
SHOOT FOR THE MOON, Christine. Director: Chris Wickett
TASTE, Vegg. Director: Booker Woodford
SECRET RAPTURE, Katherine. Prod. Charismatic Film Ltd. Director: Paris Leonti
SOPHIE’S CHOICE, as Sophie. Prod. Charismatic Films Ltd. Director: Paris Leonti
YOU’RE BREAKING MY HEART, Dr. Claire O’Donnell. Director: Paul Page
2009, Ident, Companies Director, STAPLES IDENT, STAPLES
Writer: I have written two feature films - Surrender (with Simone Wright) and Eve’s Story (with Eva Pope, in collaboration with Carmine Canuso and Darren Black), several short films incl. Wisteria Cottage, the children’s play The Dream, the children’s book Little Dorothy’s Invisible Friend, the seven one-hourly TV-comedy-drama series Sequin Deep (with Peter Westcott) and Miracle, Miracle, where art thou? – a short-film, which will be one part of the feature Rainy Days.
Author: (with GeourSeoArt Ltd)
‘Moments of Reflection’ with Rudolf Reinbacher,
‘Little Dorothy’s invisible friend’ illustrated by Simone Wright and Christine Gutmann,
‘Healing-Meditation with Birgitta Bernhard’ book/audiobook and CD/Mp3.
Producer/Co-Producer: Wisteria Cottage, Crystal Clear, Deceptions, Speaking in Tongues, Empties
Accents & Dialects: American-New York, Austrian, East European, French, German, Italian, RP, Languages: (* = mother tongue) English, French, German*
Music & Dance: Cabaret Singing, Contemporary Dance, Jazz Dancing, Soprano, Tap
Performance: Voice-Over, Narration, Physical Theatre, Musicals, Presenting
Sports: Skiing, Cycling, Tennis, Spinning
Vehicle Licences: clean car driving licence
IMDb Pro: www.imdb.com/Birgitta Bernhard/1569050
Location: London, United Kingdom